Bike won't Start - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-25-2019, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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Bike won't Start

Yesterday I went out to start my bike and the only thing I got was some rapid clicking noise from my starter relay that is next to the battery. I reinstalled my triple charger and left it on all night and tried it this morning. The bike had more juice in it, but the only thing it did was make a clicking noise. I took it to a parts store and they told me that my battery was good but needed to be charged, so I took it home and put it on an old battery charger that I have that puts out 2 amps.
Just a little bit ago I went out and tried to start it and the starter engaged but did not turn the bike over.
Do you think it is in the battery or do I have starter problems?

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-25-2019, 07:04 PM
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Sounds like low battery. When a battery is really low it will take a while at 2 amps to bring to full charge. It could easily take 10 hours to charge battery at 2 amps.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-25-2019, 09:16 PM
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when is the last time you rode the bike?

if the battery went dead and it sat for a long time, the battery is done. More than a month its shot... a couple days to a week... it might come back.

Lead acid batteries need to be recharged immediately after they are drained (used) or an oxide layer forms on the lead surfaces, and nothing will take it off.

If there was nothing draining the battery while it was parked, it should have held its voltage over the winter by itself. If it went dead just sitting with no load, it was on its last legs anyway.

Lead acid batteries last about 4 years. You can get one online for about $30 to $40 with free shipping, and it will last 4 years.

If you rode the bike two days ago and the battery is dead, you need to figure out what is draining your battery, including whether its charging with the engine running.

If there is any question put a volt meter on the battery leads and hit the starter. If the volt meter drops from 12.6V to less than 6, your battery is shot.

If the voltage stays above 12V but the starter is not spinning, you have corroded battery wires, or a starter problem.

Last edited by KCW; 02-25-2019 at 09:23 PM.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-26-2019, 06:46 AM Thread Starter
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The last time I rode the bike was in mid December 2018. On that ride, I rode it approximately 60 miles. When I tried to start it the other day, it had a charge but it was not enough to do anything but make the starter relay make some noise. This is one of those cheaper jell battery that I got from O'Reilly's parts store this past summer.
I usually do not put a charger or anything on it during the winter because with nothing on it to drain the battery, I always figured that it should hold a charge for 4 months (it has done that the past several years.). But with this very cold winter we have had, I guess that I should have put my battery maintainer on it.
I have had my small 2 amp charger on it overnight and I am going to see how it is this morning.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-26-2019, 07:32 AM
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what do you mean by a cheaper jell battery? one that is designed for a UPS computer backup, or a wheel chair?

The proper MC battery for your bike only costs about $35 online. A jell battery might have enough power to start the bike in good weather, but when its below freezing a battery loses half of its capacity. If you started out with a lower rated (CCA) battery to begin with, that could be why its not working in the cold.

look up your bike make model and year here for an idea of what should be in your bike: https://www.batterysharks.com/

beg borrow or buy a small volt meter, they are only $10 at walmart, and see what the voltage is doing when you hit the starter. Without a voltmeter its like you are testing the bike blind.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-26-2019, 08:30 AM Thread Starter
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I just unplugged the 2 amp battery charger and the battery tested12.94 volts. I tried to start it several times and the battery went down to 11.5 volts. I then put the charger on it for about 45 minutes and it was charged up to 12.68 volts. I then left the volt meter on the battery while I tried to start the motorcycle and the volt meter flashed 6.88 volts while I was engaging the starter then the battery read 11.73 volts after trying it.
I noticed that my lights on the rear of the bike are on when the key is on and the turn signals work, but the headlight does not come on with the key turned on. I have checked my fuzes and they are all good.
My battery is O'Reilly brand model ETZ14S with a 10 hr AH of 11.2. I am going to check it out to see exactly what battery I do have. But so far, all I am getting is starter relay chatter and nothing else. I put my hand on the starter and I felt nothing happening.
Do you think I should take the starter off and see if it turns freely?

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-26-2019, 08:46 AM Thread Starter
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The battery I currently have in the motorcycle is a AGM (absorbed Glass Mat) BATTERY WITH 210 CCA The battery is in the group size BTZ14S.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-26-2019, 09:12 AM
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Before you start pulling things apart, take the LITTLE crankshaft cover off the left side of the engine, its a screw cap about the size of a quarter

put the bike in neutral and see if you can crank the engine over clockwise (on the left side of the bike) with a socket wrench. This will tell you if the engine is seized up and stalling the starter.

It should turn over easy with one hand on the wrench till you start a compression stroke, then it will take a bit of force to turn over till the piston clears top dead center, then be easy to turn till you hit the next compression stroke. If you can turn it at all, the engine is not seized, and if you can go around twice and find both compression strokes, your engine is perfect. BTW, do NOT turn the engine over backwards ( the same direction as the front wheel) the timing chain will go slack - dont do it. If the engine feels like its hitting a CLUNK then dont force it. Nothing should be hitting metal to metal in there.

If the engine is not seized there would be no reason for the starter to be stalling and pulling the battery down to 6.8V, in that case the odds are by 50 to 1 the battery has expired. Since it was dead when you first tried to start it, the battery has sat dead for the last few months, and that is the condition I mentioned in my first post - once it has sat dead for a long time, you can charge it back up, and it will show 12.8V, but it wont have any power to start the bike, because the lead plates are oxidized.

Try jump starting the bike with another battery in parallel, like your car battery, or take the battery out and take it an auto shop that can test it. If the engine is not seized and the battery drops to 6.8V when the starter is engaged, that all points to a weak battery. BTW< Im assuming you had the volt meter probes right on the battery metal tabs, not on the wires connected to the battery. If not check it again. If the battery tabs stay at 12.6V but the voltage on the wires drops to 6.8V when you crank the starter, then the wires to the battery, or the black wire from the battery to the frame is corroded and not able to conduct any current under load.

Last edited by KCW; 02-26-2019 at 09:19 AM.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-26-2019, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
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KCW, I looked for a little crankshaft cover on the left side of the engine and could not find it. But I put the bike in 4th gear and pushed the bike forward about 10 ft and it rolled easy until I hit the several compression strokes then it was a bugger. I then checked the battery (on the metal things on the battery) and the battery was 12.4 volts and when I hit the starter, the volt meter flashed 6.6 volts then showed the battery at 11.5 volts. I then jumped it parallel with my car and the bike started right up. I ran the bike for about 15 minutes and then shut it down. I checked the battery and it read 14.4 volts. I then tried to start it and the volt meter flashed 6.4 volts then showed 11.8 volts.
I think my battery is gone to the grave in the sky. Do you agree with my thoughts? I think you are right about the battery being bad.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-26-2019, 12:53 PM
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spot on, you nailed it

you might want to go back and see if there is any warranty on the battery, if you bought it last summer.... usually they are covered for a year

unless you left the key on or a radio on, it should have held its charge from dec to march.

BTW, Im surprised there is no obvious crankshaft "spin" nut on the bike. There must be a way to turn the engine over by hand, to check the valve clearance... I just assumed it would be similar to the 650 and 1100... looks like you take the cover plate off the front left side, with the 6 bolts/screws, and the quarter size access covers are under it.

Last edited by KCW; 02-26-2019 at 01:02 PM.
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